Proof of Performance: The New PoP
Reminiscing of the days I had to stand next to a billboard with a hand clicker counting cars for 15 minutes for TAB or dodging cars to get the perfect line of sight picture for a “proof of post”, I am sure many in our industry can relate. There always has been a general sense across the industry of when technology would fully embrace outdoor advertising, what it would look like and how it would be implemented.
Over the past 20 years, we witnessed the birth and domination of online, social, and mobile media from the sidelines and wondered when our roughly 4%-6% total ad spend would grow. Over the past 2 years we have seen some decent growth although I believe we have finally arrived at seeing YoY outdoor ad spend growth in a more consistent and substantial way. One of the main reasons for this assumption is our ability within the industry to be more consistent in targeting an audience not just an impression. Total ad spend does not necessarily grow it is mostly reallocated within different mediums. As print and radio continues its downward trend, the outdoor industry is primed to scrap these reallocated dollars to our medium as long as we continue to implement technology across our platforms in a more standard and performance driven manner.
There are several factors converging together to stimulate this recent growth:
- Hardware costs have been steadily decreasing.
- Real Estate owners in multiple verticals are finally realizing that they can monetize their customer traffic with signage, creating new and exciting pedestrian centric digital display networks.
- Growth of new programmatic and direct advertising sources.
- The ability to run more creative campaigns enabled by digital screens that support video and interactive formats that can be combined with mobile and social media activations.
- Companies are beginning to harness mobile location data to measure the performance of campaigns.
- More technology talent entering into the industry.
- The ability to track outdoor advertising performance across a number of new channels - website traffic lift, app install lift, footfall traffic lift, social lift, SMS conversions, and more.
As an industry, our inability to provide complete quantifiable data and performance metrics in real time to buyers is one of the main reasons our medium has been mostly flat lined as it relates to total advertising spend. This is not because of the lack of data within our industry, it is our inability to channel this data effectively as a standard metric for buyers across all of our OOH networks.
Data is all around us, like dust in the wind. We have started to streamline data collection, which has resulted in our ability to correlate this data more effectively. We also have to make more of this data easily accessible to media buyers. Facebook and Google campaigns make it very easy to target specific locations; the same ought to be true in the OOH space as well! When content is delivered, any buyer should have real-time access to information about impressions, ad playtime, and actual performance data that helps buyers understand if they are achieving their end goals of increasing sales. By providing a proof of performance that tracks multiple data points - website lift, footfall, app downloads, social lift, etc. - we will see consistent growth in ad spend throughout the outdoor industry.
Lightout has taken on this challenge to provide these solutions to network operators so that they can move beyond the “proof of play” to the “proof of performance”.